Friday, March 02, 2007
Despite all my learning I simply cannot figure out what really is going on in this journey we call life. Just don’t seem to be able to get through the gate to enlightenment. It was the same with the 3 lessons in Church the other day (Exodus 34: 29-end, 2 Cor 3: 12-4.2, Luke 9: 28-36). Intuition tells me that meaning is there, but somehow I cannot put my finger on it. I guess many have been in this position before, unable to unlock the meaning of the text/of life. No amount of frantic searching seems to help. In fact, no amount of careful thinking seems to help either - though sometimes having the right book to hand is a useful starting point. Usually though, the key is not in a book, but lying in plain plain view in some obscure place i have yet to visit. The result is that life is a bit more of an attentive waiting game. Our eyes have to be hope for hints of meaning all the time.
Let me try and explain my rambling a little more clearly. I have always been haunted by many things, one of which is an image in T.S. Elliot's 'Ash Wednesday': "...where three dreams cross/ Between blue rocks". It's a beautiful and evocative line - both elusive and alliterative, with a really lovely half rhyme between 'cross' and 'rocks' based on moving the 'k' sound from the beginning to the end. I remember walking through a graveyard one night - it must have been about this time of year - the sun had already set, just. And as i walked through the Yew trees in the churchyard i saw the blue rocks - old tomb stones at the end of the day. Suddenly the whole scene made sense - particularly the following lines about Yew trees - the clue that Elliot planted long ago. And so did the later lines, 'Teach us to sit still/ Even among these rocks/ Our peace in His will.'
I guess I have one point to make. That is that our doing mearly provides context for our hearing. Living out our (Christian) vocation (though that seems an impossibilty to me most of the time) puts us in the right place to begin understanding it, but it doesn't instantly provide that understanding. Doing is the foundation for thinking. The text of the Bible still needs to be read, and who knows what we might find there if we dwell long enough with the text in context of our world. I guess at the end of the day advice is superfluous...the doing comes first i guess – must get through that bloody gate!